Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  25 minutes
Date:  2006
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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For Richer, For Poorer

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In Brazil the gulf between the rich and the poor is one of the biggest in the world.

Life 5 - For Richer, For Poorer

Sao Paulo is Brazil's biggest city and the business hub of the country. Nested between the sky scrapers are the favelas or urban slums housing the poor. The favelas epitomize a stark fact that has come to characterize the country today: the gulf between the rich and the poor in Brazil is one of the biggest in the world. Almost half the country's wealth is concentrated in the hands of just twenty thousand families - out of a population of 184 million.

Today, President Lula da Silva's big project is to make a more equal society. In his election speech, he promised to improve education, to improve health, to make land ownership fairer and - most importantly - to fight poverty. But Brazil's business community believes rapid growth is what is needed to improve the country's economy and combat social inequality. Despite the gulf between rich and poor, extreme poverty is being reduced. In line with its Millennium Development Goal pledges, Brazil has halved the percentage of people living in extreme poverty.

'The visual impact of the gripping documentaries in the Life 5 series make them extremely powerful teaching tools for university, and indeed, other classrooms. In succinct episodes they raise and contextualise some of the most critical issues in the world today. These episodes are produced in an extremely objective manner and allow an audience easily to come to grips with an array of complex problems. They ought to be an indispensable part of the teaching curriculum.' Dr. Jeremy Sarkin, Visiting Professor of International Human Rights, Tufts University

'I think the film - For Richer, for Poorer - is a great introduction to issues of income inequality and other challenges of reducing poverty. It clearly shows how economic growth alone cannot automatically reduce poverty and inequality. To do that, governments must invest in housing, education and health services. I also liked how the film illustrates some 'post capitalism' initiatives such as the economic projects of worker-owned factories, giving the viewer a sense of optimism in that poverty and inequality can be diminished.' Katarina Wahlberg, Social and Economic Policy Program Coordinator, Global Policy Forum

'It shows the uselessness of pointing fingers with regard to advances in education (or anything else) even as it displays the luxurious life style of the rich in close proximity to the favelas. Another positive is that the concept of solidarity is mentioned, and a concrete example is shown on how solidarity movements can help socially, economically, and politically. The example of a poor man from poor N.E. Brazil reaching the presidency is another plus for this film. Young people today learn early to pay more attention to what people do than to what people say.' Luis Gutierrez, Editor, Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence Research Newsletter


Main credits

Sorrentino, Bruno (film director)
Burlamaqui, Luciana (film producer)
Kerr, Alistair (editor of moving image work)
Kelly, Brenda (film producer)
Bower, Dick (film producer)
Briers, Lucy (narrator)

Other credits

Editor, Alistair Kerr; executive producer, Brenda Kelly; series producer, Dick Bower.

Distributor credits

Luciana Burlamaqui

Bruno Sorrentino

Luciana Burlamaqui
Bruno Sorrentino
Executive Producer: Brenda Kelly
Series Producer: Dick Bower
Series Consultant: Jenny Richards
Produced by Television Trust for the Environment

Docuseek2 subjects

Urban Studies
Government Policy
Economic Anthropology
Business Ethics
Human Rights
Latin American Studies

Distributor subjects

Business Practices
Human Rights
Latin American Studies
Millennium Development Goals
Social Justice
United Nations
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning


Brazil, gulf between rich and poor, Sao Paulo, favelas, Coliseu, slums, Lula da Silva, social inequality, millennium development goals, economic gap, extreme poverty, business, land ownership, business community; "For Richer, For Poorer"; Bullfrog Films

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